Not very long ago a fresh lead in the CRM meant that a quick quality call had a very good chance of becoming an appointment, but things are starting to change when it comes to Internet leads. I talked to an Internet customer the other day and they told me that they received a dozen or so phone calls from car dealers after they filled out an online request for a new car quote. It wasn’t a manufacturers website, but it was a well know site for researching automobiles. The number of calls they got frustrated them and they felt pressured to set an appointment.

Car Buying Internet Leads They preferred to be contacted by email, but all they got were phone calls. Sounds like the dealers were doing their job, but they did not leave a good taste in the mouth of the potential customer. As it turns out we did sell them a car, but they also told me that they would never provide their phone number again when requesting information or a quote. This is not the first time I have heard this from a customer, in fact I hear it quite often.

After doing some more research I have found that less people are proving a good phone number when they submit a lead because Internet leads are changing. The Internet car shopper does not want to be called on the phone because they are trying to avoid what they consider to be the pushy car salesman. They want information and/or prices, but they only want to be contacted by email. They are qualifying or disqualifying you dealership based on the response that is provided by the Internet Department.

Internet Leads and the Internet Sales Manager

It wasn’t too long ago that an Internet lead without a good phone number was considered a bad lead, but not today. The Internet car shopper is gathering information and making decisions that are based on the response and treatment they receive via the Internet. If you write off the leads that come through your Internet Department that have bad phone numbers your are missing out on opportunities to sell more cars. The quick phone call is rarely good enough to get them in your store today and if they don’t supply a good phone number you are done unless you earn a shot at their business through email.

Car buyers are interacting with dealers differently than they did only a few short years ago. They use email, texting and the Internet to decide where to buy a car. We need to communicate with them through email as if they were standing in front of them. We need to answer their questions and provide the information they are requesting or they will disqualify you and your dealership. People that submit Internet leads are buyers (at least most of them) and they will buy a car in a day, a week, a month or several months. Once they are on the showroom floor we can be more influential and do our magic, but to get them in through the Internet we need to play in their world.

Just like everything else in our industry customers are changing and so are the Internet leads they provide. We need to change along with them and play the game the way they want to play it or we won’t even have a chance to do what we do best, which is sell cars.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


You Can’t Close Them Unless You Get Them in the Door!


KB · March 18 at 5:45 pm

Hi Byron,

Spend some time on and Autotrader looking at your competition. Pricing, lots of pictures, a thorough description are what buyers are looking for when they search used cars online.Try Craigslist too!

Bryon · March 8 at 3:14 pm

I’m a new salesman at a used car dealership, and I don’t understand why I don’t get any replies from my online adds. Is there some basic things I should know about advertising used cars on-line?

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